That guy looks totes familiar. Oh right, I think I saw his face on the wall of the Post Office…
The likeness is uncanny.
Occupy Vancouver, which had been Occupying the plaza north of the Art Gallery since its inception, was Injuncted by the City, with the result that they had to move house off that specific site. So they did: to a block South, the extremely beautiful and extremely under-utilized Robson Square Plaza outside the Provincial Courthouse. I used to work there, and that plaza is a gorgeous, multilevel space of considerable desolation, since nobody ever goes there.
Now, I was not and am not a fan of allowing Occupy Vancouver to be moved: as I’ve said repeatedly, it’s not Civil Disobedience until you Disobey something.
but of course, I wasn’t camping, so I didn’t feel I had the right to decide that for the people who were, and those people decided to move to Provincial land, which the plaza is.
It’s also well-covered over a fair bit of its area, with concrete cubbyholes where a tent can be snug and protected, which turned out to be very important when that night saw winds up to 90 km/hr. I picked up my camera around 2am (after washing all the dishes in the house and doing some darning as a procrastination measure) and headed over to the old site to view the wreckage, of which there was some but nowhere NEAR as much as I expected.
As you can see from the slideshow, it was nonetheless desolate: cratered, soaked, the wood chip surface dissolved into a decomposed, ice-cold tea, which had necessitated the use of recycled pallets to elevate the tents out of the muck. No longer necessary, the pallets were stacked here and there by the paths, so if anyone wants some free firewood, here ya go.
Ashleigh‘s memorial is still on the site, but the umbrella that sheltered it is gone. At least it’s still protected by fluorescent posts and Caution tape.
I got shots of the entire chalk mural along the East wall of the stairs, and it is beautiful and of course impermanent, so that made me happy.
There was someone sifting through the fountain basin with a flashlight and bag, but when I asked him what he was looking for he turned his back and left. Some people are so touchy.
There was one tent left, but it was full of rubble: I’m nosy. I looked.
Then I went over to the new site and interviewed Cameron Bode of Occupy Vancouver‘s media team on how to do the livestream under circumstances like that. If that part of the livestream is embeddable, it’s news to me, but I’ll try. We did a walking tour of the Robson Square site and then went over to the old site for a trip down nostalgia ave. The umbrella blew out and completely wrecked near the end, and at that point we lost the ability to livestream because you can’t do that in a downpour without shelter of some kind, so oh well, we went back to the site and did this interview.
Shots from the new site:
After spending the night in the relative snuggity of the new site, Occupy Vancouver (having proved they could be shoved around and displaced, like a powerless vagrant) was moved along again by another injunction. Premier Christy Clark tweeted her heartbreak that Occupy Vancouver was obeying the injunction:
Of course, injunctions don’t have spirits or souls, and neither, apparently, does Christy Clark, for in the middle of some of the worst weather all year, she ordered her staff to stay up all night getting the new injunction. And then boasted about it.
Poor babies. Tell me, were they doing it in the middle of a public plaza during a wind and rain storm? No? Didn’t think so.
Christy Clark called for A BLANKET INJUNCTION, we are calling for "Injunction Blankets" to keep us warm! Can anyone crochet?…—
Occupy Vancouver (@OccupyVancouver) November 22, 2011
And as predicted, they got their injunction. At about 4pm, Occupy Vancouver packed up again and moved to what they assumed would be a welcoming new home in the heart of EastVan.
But EastVan ain’t what it used to be. There were tweets saying residents showed up with signs telling them to leave Grandview Park (that was fast work, guys, very fast work) although when I got there no signs at all were in evidence, just one flag with which I could use some help: what the hell is it?
UPDATE: The flag of the free republic of Cascadia!
It ain’t Lebanon, that’s all I know.
Relations with the cops were…bipolar. But we hugged it out.
The chaos didn’t stop some really profound things from going on at the GA:
After about an hour of photography I left, but in the meantime saw some interesting things including a media scrum with a woman from City Government of palpable importance whom I don’t recognize (I should watch tv news more, I guess).
Dr. Penny Janet Drury Ballem, MSc, MD, FRCP is the city manager for the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and served as a member of the VANOC board of directors, corporate director for Bentall Capital G.P. Ltd., as well as a senior adviser to RPO Management Consultants. She is a physician and clinical professor at the University of British Columbia Medical School in the department of hematology and bone marrow transplant.
She reaffirmed that Stanley Park was leased by the City, provincial or not, and that if there were ANY structures put up in it, they’d be removed by the City. When I asked her about Musqueam and other First Nations territory, she was visibly relieved to say the City had no authority there. So…something for future reference. Another friend says the land under and around the South end of the Burrard Bridge is Coast Salish, which would be very, very interesting indeed as a site for Occupy Vancouver.
And one final word, from the horse’s ass’s mouth: